Saturday, February 12, 2011
Let me share with you a few tips about how to make a vegan friend happy. I don't profess to be an expert here ... but this is all really common sense ...
1. Do not introduce her to other friends as 'The Vegan'
2. Make her dinner. And if it was hard finding something dairy- and egg- and meat-free to cook ... do not tell her that -repeatedly - before and during dinner. Pretend you eat like this all the time.
3. Be a good friend ... because in the grand scheme of things, it really doesn't matter if your avocado-chocolate mousse didn't turn out very well.
4. And the failsafe? Make this for dessert:
They're actually incredibly easy. And so stylish.
And if you end up with extras ... they make great
(it's a good thing sugar isn't animal-derived, isn't it?)
(and I actually did have them in the morning, afternoon, and evening ... oops ... )
15 min prep + 15 min bake + 15 min cool
6 sheets of filo dough, thawed
1 c almonds - measured out and then ground (I used my spice grinder, but a blender would work)
1 c icing sugar, sifted + extra for serving
2 Tbs mango jam (or use another jam, agave syrup or maple syrup)
1 tsp vanilla
1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbs almond oil
1. Preheat the oven to 160C (325F). Remove your filo dough from the freezer to thaw (if you haven't already).
2. In a large bowl, combine the ground almonds and sifted icing sugar. (I say sifted because icing sugar is known to get quite lumpy). Add the jam and vanilla and mix well. The almond mixture should just hold together when you squeeze it.
3. Combine your oils in a shallow dish. Put 2 sheets of filo off the roll and lay them flat on the benchtop. We'll use the 2 sheets together, so don't worry about separating them. (And it's ok if they tear, too) It should be a big, 2-layered rectangle. Sprinkle the surface of your filo with a little of your oil mix and then smooth the oil across with your hands.
4. Put 1/3 of your almond mixture onto the filo sheet, about 5cm (2in) from the bottom edge. (Ever made sushi? This is similar). Carefully roll up the filo over the filling and keep rolling. As you go, rub little bits of your oil mix onto the surface of the dough that gets exposed.
5. Done? Gently squeeze the roll with your hands to make it stick. Rub the oil mix onto the whole surface. If there's excess dough at the ends, then cut it off. I cut each roll into thirds - but feel free to make them larger or smaller (bite-sized might be cute?)
6. Bake the cut rolls in the oven for 15 min, or until they're crispy and just lightly golden. Remove from the oven and let cool for about 10-15 min before sprinkling with the extra icing sugar. Serve 1-2 rolls per person, with an espresso or a hot tea.
I made these with leftover filo that was hanging out in my fridge after a filo-based dinner dish a few days ago. So you know what? I'm counting that as free ... because I would've thrown it out had I not made these little guys. But with the insecticide-free almonds and organic sugar and oil, this dessert still comes to only $1 per serve, mostly-organic.
And ... vegan or not, this would make a lovely end to a special Valentine's dinner ... (just saying ... )